Presidents Letter

Stronger, Smarter, Better. Together

A message from Ann Homan, Vice Chair, Sentara Blue Ridge Region Board of Directors

The delivery of health care by a hospital is one of the most collaborative undertakings there is. Doctors and nurses, lab techs and pharmacists, imaging techs and registration staff, food service and facility services team members—all work together, along with a number of other professionals, in a coordinated manner to deliver the highest quality health care possible. It is only through everyone working together and supporting one another that we are able to achieve this complex process so successfully every day at Sentara RMH. We are, without a doubt, better together.

Since joining Sentara Healthcare a little more than five years ago, we have often talked about how being part of a system has also made us better as a hospital. One reason for this improvement is the tight collaboration between Sentara RMH Medical Center and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. These two facilities, which together make up the Blue Ridge Region of Sentara, work together in ways that benefit both organizations. 

Both hospitals bring to this partnership a long-standing tradition of providing safe, high quality, compassionate care to our patients. Through collaboration and the sharing of resources and best practices, each hospital has become stronger and has been able to offer even more services and to see improved outcomes in many areas. 

For example, Sentara RMH and Sentara Martha Jefferson are working together to implement valve clinics at both hospitals for the repair and replacement of faulty heart valves. In addition, both hospitals share administrative personnel over several key service areas, including cancer care, pharmacy and information systems. In the area of preventive care, the two hospitals also share a genetic counselor.

Leadership also is taking part in sharing knowledge and enhancing the synergy between the two organizations. Around the time each hospital was marking its five-year anniversary with Sentara Healthcare recently, we were formalizing the collaboration between Sentara RMH Medical Center and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital with the launch of the Sentara Blue Ridge Board of Directors. Board members from both hospitals already had been working closely together for nearly two years to define the Blue Ridge as a distinct region within Sentara, and in July 2016 the two hospital boards were merged into one. Having talented, knowledgeable members from each organization on a single board allows us to leverage innovative ideas and leadership strengths from both communities.

Thanks to the recent opening of a new helipad outside the Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Department, Sentara RMH and other healthcare facilities in the region can now airlift patients to Sentara Martha Jefferson for neurointerventional care not previously offered in our area. As well, since Sentara RMH performs open-heart surgery, patients can now be airlifted quickly from Sentara Martha Jefferson to Sentara RMH for this kind of treatment.

Simply put, health care has become far too complex for one group of individuals to have all the answers. Collaborating as part of a larger healthcare system, Sentara RMH and Sentara Martha Jefferson are taking the “better together” concept to new heights of effectiveness, working to provide highest-quality health care possible for everyone in the Sentara Blue Ridge Region.

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